BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Editor
Even after being named a distinguished Chevrolet Dealer of the Year for the third straight year in 2019 by General Motors, Clarkston’s Bowman Chevrolet doesn’t want to rest on its laurels.
In fact, Bowman Chevrolet President Katie Bowman would rather keep building on the dealership’s success and finding ways to improve daily, choosing to also give credit for those that keep the dealership running successfully.
“We can’t thank the Clarkston community enough for the support and loyalty they’ve shown us for many years, but especially during the past few months as we’ve navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and worked to change our processes to help our customers with their sales and service needs in the safest possible manner,” Bowman said.
Bowman Chevrolet, located at the corner of Dixie Highway and M-15 since 1984, is one of only 60 Chevy dealers nationwide that were selected for the award based on exceptional performance in sales, service and customer satisfaction. GM has recognized dealerships in the U.S. with this honor since 2000.
Bowman has also been recognized as the Dealer Rater Chevrolet Dealer of the Year in Michigan for the past three years.
“The Dealer of the Year program honors our dealer partners who have done an exceptional job toward our collective goal of earning customers for life,” said Steve Hill, GM U.S. vice president of sales, service and marketing. “We salute these 60 outstanding Chevrolet dealers for all they do for our customers, their communities and our company.”
Bowman Chevrolet – and its nearly 115 employees – is using new technology that allows customers to have a contactless service visit. This includes a new key lounge that offers personalized in-store self-check-in, key drop and pick up, and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. The RFID program scans a customer’s vehicle when they drive into the service lane, automatically checks them in, and provides the customer updates throughout the service process.
The sales department has expanded online vehicle sales capabilities and offers contactless pick up or delivery of new vehicles.
“A significant number of our customers come from Clarkston, but really, we have customers throughout Northern Oakland County and Southern Genesee County and we’ve even sold cars to customers from as far as Florida,” said Bowman, who said the dealership sold 3,389 new vehicles in 2019. “As a result of COVID-19, we were forced to close our showroom for about eight weeks and that definitely has affected our overall sales numbers for 2020. That said, we rebounded with really strong sales this summer, and we’re on track to have the best third quarter in the dealership’s 36-year history.
“This spring was the first time ever our dealership was closed for an extended period of time. It was extremely challenging, but our team rose to the occasion and has adapted to a completely new way of selling and servicing vehicles. They’ve gotten creative with their sales tactics sending customers video walkarounds, rather than in person, and executing our online sales tools. Both the sales and service teams have adapted to a contactless delivery and sanitation process, and they’ve embraced the new technology we invested in to transform the customer experience.
“It has been a trying six months, but we have the best customers in the world, and our team has shown resilience at every turn.”